Gov. Pat McCrory has signed into law the state’s $21.1 billion budget bill that was approved by the legislature last week.
The signing comes five weeks after the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1st, a deadline lawmakers did not meet because of stalled negotiations and debate largely over teacher pay and Medicaid funding.
McCrory signed the 260-page budget deal on Thursday at the executive mansion, proudly noting that the spending plan includes raises for teachers and state employees, while not increasing taxes or making reductions in Medicaid eligibility.
“I’m very, very proud of the relationship that I’ve had with my team and with this legislative body,” he said. “During tough debate, during some compromise ... trying to a reach a consensus on over a $21 billion budget.”
The budget includes $1,000 raises for most state employees. Every teacher will get a raise that ranges from less than one percent to more than 18 percent, depending on his or her years of experience.
The signing comes amid debate over the significance of the teacher raises. Leaders of the largest teacher group in the state, North Carolina Association of Educators, argue that the budget does not include big enough pay bumps for those with the most experience and that it unfairly folds longevity pay into the salary schedule.
Legislative leaders have contended that NCAE leaders are twisting the facts and have assured them that all teachers will earn more, faster.
To help pay for those raises, the budget makes cuts to programs including public health and child development. It also reduces the state rates that will be paid to Medicaid providers by one percent.
Moreover, the legislation shifts the State Bureau of Investigation under the purview of Gov. Pat McCrory and out of the control of Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper.
Click here to read more details about what’s in the budget deal.